The Sunday Guardian has exclusive information about BJP’s Bengal manifesto.

 

New Delhi: Industry, employment, healthcare, women’s safety and empowerment, agricultural loan waiver, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), OBC reservation, State Niti Aayog, police reforms, ending of “syndicate raj”, investigation on scams and some freebies, are some of the key points that the BJP’s manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections in Bengal is likely to have, The Sunday Guardian has exclusive information. The BJP manifesto, which is likely to be termed as “Notun Suryadayer Pathey Notun Paschimbanga” (new sunrise paving the way for new Bengal), will be inaugurated by former BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Bengal on Sunday.

The BJP through its manifesto will be pushing for a robust and a new industrial policy for Bengal with developing at least six industrial parks across the state. The manifesto will see a promise of development and revival of the jute industry hubs, which have been closed down for years, on the banks of the Ganges. It will also focus on creation of gold manufacturing hub in Central Bengal, promotion of handicraft and cottage industries in the state amongst many others

The manifesto is also likely to focus on the overhaul of the existing WBSIDCL, the West Bengal Small Industries Development Corporation Limited.

In the agricultural sector, the BJP’s manifesto is likely to announce a loan waiver of up to Rs 50,000 for all farmers in the state. The party will also promise to implement the Kisan Samman Nidhi which provides Rs 2000 to all farmers quarterly in the state. A separate Ministry for Fisheries is also likely to be announced in the manifesto that is to be released on Sunday.

The manifesto is also likely to talk about the protection and revival of the Ichamati river in Bengal that caters to at least 2.9 crore population in the state in terms of water and irrigation.

Development of six important tourism circuits of Digha, Dooars, Darjeeling Hills, Kolkata, Sundarbans and Rarh Banga is also likely to be announced. A separate tourism circuit of all the 16 Shakti peethas of Bengal could also find its place in the manifesto of the BJP.

The manifesto is also likely to see a promise of setting up a Partition Museum in Kolkata.

The BJP is also going to promise to provide pucca houses to all the slum-dwellers in Bengal and particularly in Kolkata within the next five years and the development of Kolkata as one of the smartest cities in Asia. The manifesto will also give special focus on rural development of Bengal. A promise of a pucca house to all the residents of Bengal within five years, a special road transport corporation for rural travel, piped water to every household, 24X7 electricity in rural areas, among many others.

The BJP in its manifesto could also push for the introduction of compulsory subjects of Sanskrit for all school going children, and subjects that inculcate patriotism and cultural values within students.

Bengali is to be given the status of a classical language, free higher education for the girl child and for male child belonging to the lower income groups, and establishment of a Central University in Darjeeling, are some of the promises that are likely to feature in BJP’s manifesto. West Bengal, which has been witnessing massive protests by teachers for non-recruitment, could get a ray of hope from the BJP’s manifesto as the party is likely to announce huge recruitment of teachers in Bengal if the party comes to power. It would also promise to implement the 7th Pay Commission not only for teachers, but for all government employees and also to provide DA for all government employees.

The party is also going to promise to set up an AIIMS in North Bengal, implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, mobile clinics, “doctor at doorstep’ programme, among other such incentives. The BJP is also likely to promise free Covid-19 vaccination for all if voted to power. As a big announcement, the BJP is also likely to promise 5 lakh government jobs for Bengal in the next five years, while 10 lakh other job opportunities in Bengal within the next few years.

Given the fact that around 50% women voters are enrolled in Bengal, women’s empowerment is also likely to witness a key place in the BJP’s manifesto. It is likely to announce a 33% reservation for women in government jobs; it will also introduce a “Bangalakshmi” scheme which will provide financial assistance to the girl child for education, job as well as marriage. Special focus on solving crime against women, special women police stations, women task force are also likely to be created.

Taking a cue from Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is also likely to introduce a “Love Jihad” law. The BJP has constantly raised its pitch against the alleged “syndicate raj” in Bengal, for which the party will promise to abolish the “syndicate raj” and declare this “business” to be illegal in Bengal if voted to power.

CAA, Matuas, Rajbanshis, and other such communities are also likely to find a special mention in the manifesto of the BJP. The BJP is hoping to get the Schedule Caste and the OBC vote even this time. Both these communities had overwhelmingly voted the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

A special section for the development of North Bengal and tea garden workers is also likely to feature in the BJP’s manifesto.